Topological Quantum Matter and Entanglement. Lise Meitner Distinguished Lecture

Long-range “entanglement” was initially pointed out by Einstein as a strange property predicted by quantum mechanics that he felt was so contrary to common-sense that experiments to test it would surely undermine the quantum theory. But when experimental tests eventually became possible, quantum mechanics was vindicated. In recent years, it has been realized that, instead of merely being an abstract and obscure philosophical issue in the interpretation of the quantum theory, entanglement is in fact perhaps its central feature, and in particular, plays an important role in the new “topological (quantum) states of matter” which have unexpected properties that have given rise to much recent excitement in condensed matter physics. I will describe some examples of this and how ideas from quantum information theory and condensed matter physics have fruitfully joined together.